Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dreamed/planned cities and experienced cities

Venue & Date: University Jean Monnet, St Etienne, France, 8-10 July 2014

Nowadays, there is a growing interest among anthropologists to do urban research that looks at both the government of the city and the dwellers' representations of the city (Lefebvre). Many ethnographies have thus focused, on the one hand, on urban policies and, on the other hand, on social practices. The Urban Anthropology Series - published by Ashgate - and the works published in the Journal Urbanities are good examples of this growing trend among anthropologists, which is consistent with the major transformation of cities around the world: gentrification, competition between cities, urban sprawl, mobility, heritagization, etc.. Urbanity is paradoxically claimed as one of the main attributes of Modernity at a time when cities are diluting and disseminating.

The aim of this conference is to understand both the dreamed/planned cities  and the experienced cities. However, we do not want to oppose those who  think the city to those who inhabit and practice it. Everyone is entitled to have personal thoughts about the place where one lives.

General Convenors are:

Michel Rautenberg, Centre Max Weber, Université Jean Monnet, St Etienne,France
Corine Védrine, Centre Max Weber, Ecole nationale supérieure d'architecture de Lyon, France

I am particularly interested in contributions for the session that I will convene:


Planning for Renewal and Resettlement: Contested Visions
Convenor: Pr Dolores Koenig, American University, Washington, DC,

Politicians and urban planners often put forward visions of urban futures that involve new infrastructure, urban renewal, or large sporting events, which require the relocation of existing residents. Relocated residents rarely embrace these visions, asserting alternatives that value their ways of living; they offer their own visions, which imagine the poor as major contributors to the city. In 2003 when Vision Mumbai proposed steps to be taken to transform Mumbai into a "world-class city" by 2013, urban activists rejected the report, saying that it presented a vision of a city without poor people. They stressed instead that the poor were the basis of city life: building its buildings, keeping it clean, and serving its people.

This workshop seeks contributions that look at the particular clashes that occur when governments and private organizations propose development and change that involve the destruction of existing neighborhoods and the relocation of their residents. To what extent do politicians and urban planners justify these plans by visions of urban growth or quality of urban life? How do the potentially relocated respond?
Under what conditions do they create alternative visions? When do they negotiate or collaborate with planners? What sorts of activism do they undertake?

If you are interested in participating, please send your paper proposal (around 200 words) directly to me ( before April 30 2014.

There are other exciting workshops planned as well. All of them are looking for papers.

For further information, please google "annual conference CUA IUAES" and choose the PDF for Annual Conference of the Commission on Urban...

Dolores Koenig
American University

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.